Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pumpkins and pumpkin recipes

It is, apparently, pumpkin time of year. My own ones haven't done so well, having been grown in pots and left to their own devices for a week and a half of the hottest part of summer, the plants disintegrated. But I have watched the prices in the shop drop from $4 per kg, to $3, $2.50 and now $1.89. For a household that usually eats at least a whole butternut pumpkin a week, this has been fantastic, and I think it's now at least 2 pumpkins a week. They are so wonderfully versatile - as nuts are currently excluded from my diet, and I'm trying to keep honey to a minimum, they are the basis of desserts as well as part of breakfast, lunch and dinner. So I thought I'd share some of the creations I've been enjoying with pumpkins recently (and my contribution to this month's Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free!).

Veggie mash

I've been getting a good supply of spinach from a friend of mine for the last couple of weeks, and it doesn't agree with me, other than in pureed form. However, pureed spinach always seems to me to taste more like dirt and less like spinach than any other way of eating spinach. So I've been pureeing it with other vegies to great effect.

1/2 butternut pumpkin
3 carrots
2 zucchinis
Big bunch of spinach

Cut the 1/2 pumpkin into 2 pieces and rub with a little oil. Roast the pumpkin at 180C for 40-60mins, or until cooked through.

In the mean time, peel the carrots, and cut into big chunks. Steam 15-20 mins depending on the size of the pieces. You want them quite well cooked, but not so much to that they disintegrate when you try to pick them up. Place in a large bowl.

Cut the zucchini into chunks and, when the carrot is done, chuck them in the steamer. After a couple of minutes, add the spinach to the water in the bottom of the steamer.

When everything is cooked, put it all together in a big bowl, and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I eat this for breakfast, by browning some mince, adding some of the puree and serving in an omelette, or on the side of some fried eggs. It's also a convenient veggie side dish for whatever meat you are eating for lunch or dinner.

Sweet orange dessert soup

I find it is better with all things desserty if you don't put vegetable names in the title, but yes, this is a pumpkin dessert soup.

The theme of this month's Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! is seasonal soups, hosted by Linda, the Gluten-Free Homemaker, and this seems like a fitting contribution. 

It's autumn here in the southern hemisphere, and we are already heading into the cold evenings, and early darkness of winter. So there is nothing better to come home to than a steaming hot bowl of thick soup, and better still that it tastes like dessert. I mean, you could have dinner first, but given it's just vegetables, why bother?

1/2 butternut pumpkin
3 carrots
Coconut oil to serve
Lightly dripped yoghurt/sour cream to serve
Cut the 1/2 pumpkin into 2 pieces and rub with a little oil. Roast the pumpkin at 180C for 40-60mins, or until cooked through.

In the mean time, peel the carrots, and cut into big chunks. Steam 15-20 mins depending on the size of the pieces. As for the veggie mash, you want them quite well cooked (In cse you haven't noticed, this is exactly the same as the veggie mash. I make them at the same time, and just double the quantity of carrot and pumpkin and use half for each).

Puree the pumpkin and carrot until smooth. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste, at a ratio of 1:1. Add water to achieve desired consistency. I like it fairly thick so only add about 1/2 cup of water to this much veg.

To serve, put a generous serving in a bowl, stir through a good dessert spoonful of coconut oil, and top with a blob of lightly dripped yoghurt (I drip my SCD yoghurt for about 30 mins - which tastes the tangy edge off a bit, and gives a lovely sour cream consistency)

Pumpkin soufflé/pudding

Another favourite dessert and snack of mine at the moment is this pumpkin soufflé and/or pudding (a slightly different method with the same ingredients yields a quite different texture. The soufflé is lovely straight out of the oven, while it is still puffed and steaming. They are also both great cold, which brings out the coconut flavour a little more, or reheated, for a warm and satisfying snack at work.

4 egg whites
2 cups of the dessert soup vegies (before you add any water - if you are doing the soufflé, it is also a good idea to sit the veggie mash on a tea towel for 15 mins or so to soak up some of the extra moisture, though this isn't absolutely necessary)
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup coconut oil

Whisk your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. (I highly recommend an egg white attachment for your food processor, or a mix master)

In the mean time (assuming you can wander off and leave your egg whites beating), combine the vegies, egg yolks and coconut oil and mix well.

If you are making the soufflé, mix about 1/3 of the egg whites through the pumpkin mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining egg white.

If you are making the pudding, add the pumpkin mixture to the egg whites and beat until just combined.
I like taking these to work, so I make them in a combination of 250ml pyrex dishes, with lids, and in slightly larger ramekins and 500ml dishes for home. 

Arrange your dishes in an over tray, and add mixture to dishes. This makes about 8 small serves. Place tray in oven and pour water into tray around dishes to come about 2-3cm up the sides. Bake at 180C for 40-50 mins, until turning golden on top and slightly firm to the touch (they won't be solid, but they need to cook until they are no longer liquidy).

For those of you following SCD, these are all pretty early stage recipes. Just remember to add the spices as individual foods one at a time. Earlier on in the diet, I boiled the carrots and pumpkin with whole spices tied in a piece of muslin, so I wasn't eating the solids of the spices - not as nice a flavour, but a pleasant change from chicken soup.


(159(!) days and counting...)


  1. Pumpkins do make wonderful desserts! Thanks for participating in Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free. It's been nice to "meet" you.

  2. Thanks, Linda. Nice to 'meet' you too :)

    I'm looking forward to seeing all the tasty soups.